The official said the test on the new base was conducted several months ago. It is the first acknowledged use of North Korea's new larger West coast missile launch facility, first reported last week by The Associated Press.
The Taeopodong-2 engine that was tested is not believed to represent a new, longer-range capability. The missile is estimated to have a range of about 2,500 miles.
State Department spokesman Sean McCormack would not confirm the test Wednesday but said that if one took place it would violate a United Nations ban on North Korean testing of ballistic missiles and components.
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